Jalen Ramsey is one of the top cornerbacks in the league, but not just because he’s excellent in coverage. He’s an all-around defensive back who can blitz, tackle, stop the run and cover.
His combination of size, speed and instincts make him a nightmare for opposing offenses when trying to run the ball in his area. Ramsey has taken his run defense to another level since joining the Rams, particularly in the last two years when he’s lined up in the slot more.
He’s set career-highs in tackles in each of the last two years, recording 77 in 2021 and 88 in 2022 with 13 total tackles for a loss in that span – eight more than he had in his previous five years combined.
Pro Football Focus handed out year-end awards for 2022 and named Ramsey the best run defender in the NFL. Bobby Wagner was an honorable mention, too, which is proof of how well the rams defended the run this year.
Jalen Ramsey was good in coverage this season, with occasional games of elite play, but he was on another level to any other cornerback in the game in run defense. Ramsey’s ability to impact the run game from his alignment is unrivaled, and he forced two fumbles in the run game, as well.
We typically think of run defense as a job for defensive tackles and linebackers, but no player was as good in that area as Ramsey from his unusual role within the Rams’ defense.
Ramsey’s 91.8 run-defense grade at PFF was the best of his career and the second-highest of any defender in the NFL this season. It’s rare for a cornerback to tackle and defend the run as well as Ramsey does, but he’s truly a game-changer in that area.
His all-around game is why he prefers to be considered a defensive back rather than just a cornerback because he truly can do it all in the secondary.